I Lost 160 Lbs. But Gained it All Back

Jason Weiland

But I am okay with a little weight and I refuse to starve because other people get offended by fat


Photo by Mitchell Hollander on Unsplash

I am well-known for a few things if I can say that without sounding like I have a huge ego. One, people know that I write brutal and honest essays about my life with mental illness, even when I look bad in the process. I’ve written things that could easily make me the King of Cringe.

The other thing people know me for is that I lost 160 pounds without breaking a sweat. In fact, up until today, over 200,000 of you have read my story. It was a huge accomplishment, but I did it without trying, meaning I wasn’t trying to lose weight. I started eating better, and the pounds dropped off.

Back in May of 2019, when I published that story, I weighed 231 lbs. or about 105 kilos. My lowest weight was 200 lbs. but I found that it would be a difficult job to stay that skinny.

And having just weighed myself on January 3rd, 2021, I was not surprised to see I now top out at 265 lbs. or about 120 kilos.

I am okay with that.

Yes, I have a big tummy, but I love it when my daughter calls me Daddy Pig. And I do look a bit funny because I’ve always had chicken legs, so it looks as though I may tip over at any moment.

But, I am okay with that.

I don’t stress because I love my body, fat or thin. A little fat around the middle never hurt anyone. I am healthy because I eat good food. I walk every day and take vitamins. My cholesterol is acceptable, and all my blood tests come back perfect. I do have a bit of elevated blood pressure, but I take medication and monitor it to make sure it stays at a reasonable level.

The thing is, I love to eat, and I hate restricting myself. Life is too damn short not to eat the lasagne and Chicken Adobo.

I always say, “A diet is just DIE, with a T at the end,” and I mean it.

Unless I have some medical reason for going on a diet, I won’t do it

Your Fat Phobia Doesn’t Affect Me in the Least

I’m fat and happy, and know I could replace it with skinny and miserable, but who am I kidding? My wife loves me as I am, and so do my kids. My beer belly does not offend me in any way, in fact, it is always there to remind me to drink more beer.

The people I surround myself with do not care that I am fat. They may worry that they have gained a few pounds, but it’s perfectly okay for me to pack on the feedbag.

It doesn’t affect them.

My mother-in-law thinks I’m too skinny and feeds me as much as I want, and buys me the Coke that I love so much. My wife feeds me healthy food, but couldn’t care less about how much I eat.

Hell, she loves to eat too!

I rarely go out, but when I do, if people are reacting negatively to me because of my fat, I don’t see it, or choose not to.

My weight ceased to be a problem for me after I moved away from America because people of size aren’t looked at as lazy and gross by most of the rest of the world.

And although I love Instagram, seeing images of men and women with skinny and fit bodies doesn’t harm my sense of self or body positivity in the least.

I love myself!

I Haven’t Always Loved My Fat

I started getting fat in my 30s when the high doses of antidepressants and antipsychotics started having an effect on my body and my appetite. I was also in the grip of the worst days of my mental illness, and I mostly ate food that was not good for me.

As my illness got worse, and I felt myself getting disconnected from my first wife and family, I ate to soothe the pain, and I gained weight.

After my divorce, I almost made it to 400 lbs. and I hated my body and everything about myself. I was hiding my body in shame, not just from the fat but the scars from my years of self-harming behavior.

I didn’t want anyone to see me, touch me, or talk to me. I stayed in my dirty little 1-bedroom and only went out when I needed fast food and cigarettes.

My self-hate caused me to be disgusted by all fat people. My state of mind was very unhealthy.

But, in 2011, I took a chance on love and changed my life. I moved to the Philippines, and the rest is history. I have been there on and off for nine years, and although my time there was not perfect, it was healing.

I learned to live with my mental illness, even though I almost died in the process. My family and I made mistakes financially, in our relationship, and with our health, but came out the other end better for having suffered.

Yes, I lost a lot of weight and gained back some of it. And although at first, I tried to lose the weight with Keto and fasting, I finally realized I loved to eat, and if I had to carry a few pounds to eat what I wanted, I was going to do it.

It took time, but I learned to love my body — scars, fat, and all.

I look out for my health, but I don’t stress to fit in my skinny clothes. I no longer have a negative attitude towards people of size and girth, and I’ve learned to accept everyone, myself included.

I’m even getting tattoos, both to hide the obvious scars, even if I love them, and to make a statement about the things that matter in life, like family and fulfillment. The tattoos also are a symbol of the changes I’ve made in my life, my family, my mind, and my health.

I love myself, and if you take one thing away from this essay, I want it to be that you should love yourself without reserve as well. We only have one life, and it’s short.

Don’t waste it with a heart full of hate, even if it's for yourself.

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Writer and advocate interested in mental health, health, family, culture, creativity, and success.

Los Angeles, CA

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